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Summary Based on Livy

THE only fragment we possess of the nineteenth book of Polybius is a statement quoted by Plutarch as to M. Porcius Cato, to the effect that by his orders the walls of all the numerous Spanish cities north of the Baetis were dismantled on the same day. Cato was in Spain B. C. 195. The means taken by him to secure this simultaneous destruction of fortifications are told by Frontinus, Strateg, 1, 1, 1.

We thus lose the history of the years B. C. 195, 194, 193; as well as the greater part of that of B. C. 192, 191, contained in the early part of book 20, of which only a few fragments remain. Livy, however, has evidently translated from Polybius in his history of these years, and a brief abstract of events in Greece may help the reader in following the fragmentary book which follows with more interest.

B. C. 195: Lucius Valerius Flaccus, M. Porcius Cato, Coss.

Flamininus's imperium is extended for this year, because of the danger from Antiochus and Nabis. The Aetolians, still discontented, push their demand for Pharsalus and Leucas, and are referred by the Senate back to Flamininus. The latter summons a conference of Greek states at Corinth, and a war is decreed against Nabis, the Aetolians still expressing their dislike of Roman interference. The levies are collected; Argos is freed from Nabis; Sparta all but taken; and Nabis forced to submit to most humiliating terms: the Aetolians again objecting to his being allowed to remain at Sparta on any terms at all. In this year also legates from Antiochus visit Flamininus, but are referred to the Senate.

B. C. 194: Publius Cornelius Scipio II., Tiberius Sempronius Longus, Coss.

Flamininus leaves Greece after a speech at Corinth to the assembled league advising internal peace and loyalty to Rome, and enters Rome in triumph. There is a time of comparative tranquillity in Greece.

B. C. 193: L. Cornelius Merula, Q. Minucius Thermus, Coss.

The legates from Antiochus are sent back with the final answer that, unless the king abstains from entering Europe in arms, the Romans will free the Asiatic Greek cities from him. Roman legates, P. Sulpicius, P. Villius, P. Aelius, are sent to him. Hannibal arrives at the court of Antiochus, and urges him to resist; and the Aetolians urge the same course, trying also to stir up Nabis and Philip of Macedon. Antiochus accordingly will give the Roman envoys no satisfactory answer.

B. C. 192: L. Quintius Flamininus, Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, Coss.

The Romans therefore prepare for war. A fleet under the praetor Atilius is sent against Nabis: commissioners are sent into Greece—T. Quintius Flamininius, C. Octavius, Cn. Servilius, P. Villius—early in the year: M. Baebius is ordered to hold his army in readiness at Brundisium. Then news is brought to Rome by Attalus of Pergamum (brother of king Eumenes) that Antiochus has crossed the Hellespont, and the Aetolians on the point of joining him. Therefore Baebius is ordered to transport his army to Apollonia.

Meanwhile Nabis takes advantage of the alarm caused by Antiochus to move. He besieges Gythium, and ravages the Achaean territory. The league, under Philopoemen, proclaim war against him, and, after losing an unimportant naval battle, decisively defeat him on land and shut him up in Sparta.

The Aetolians now formally vote to call in Antiochus, "to liberate Greece and arbitrate between them and Rome." They occupy Demetrias; and kill Nabis by a stratagem. Whereupon Philopoemen annexes Sparta to the Achaean league. Later in the year Antiochus meets the assembly of the Aetolians at Lamia in Thessaly, is proclaimed "Strategus"; and after a vain attempt to conciliate the Achaeans seizes Chalcis, where he winters, and marries a young wife.

B. C. 191: P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica, M. Acilius Glabrio, Coss.

The Romans declare war with Antiochus. Manius Acilius is selected to go to Greece, where he takes over the army of Baebius, and after taking many towns in Thessaly meets and defeats Antiochus at Thermopylae; where the Aetolian league did after all little service to the king, who retires to Ephesus.

See Livy, 34, 4336, 21. See also Plutarch, Philopoemen, and Flamininus; Appian, Syriacae, 6—21.

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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Appian, Syrian Wars, 2.6
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 34, 43
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 21
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